By Mohamed Bafakih (@MohamedABafa ):
After a 79-66 conference-opening win over Utah State, the San Jose State’s women’s basketball team caps off the final game of the 2017 calendar year at Colorado State Saturday afternoon.
The Rams (8-4, 0-1 MW) are the defending Mountain West Champions but lost their first conference game on Thursday to Boise State, 62-58, after dealing with just three losses last season.
SJSU’s (4-8, 1-0 MW) last meeting with CSU in Fort Collins on Jan. 4 went down to the wire, however the Rams held on to a 70-67 overtime win.
Dezz Ramos, who has since graduated, exploded for 34 points and the Spartans outrebounded the Rams by 12 despite coming up short.
Coming off a double-digit win over the Aggies and Taylor Turney’s career-high 24 points, SJSU should be playing loose on the road.
The Spartans won’t have to worry about Ellen Nystrom, who had a 32-point, 14-rebound in the Jan. 4 meeting and has since graduated.
CSU doesn’t have a double-figure scoring threat. It’s led by redshirt freshman guard Grace Colaivalu’s 9.9 points per game.
These are two teams that play with very different styles. SJSU likes to run and get out on a break while CSU looks to slow down and play in the half court.
The Spartans are second in the conference in scoring offense, averaging 73.3 points per game.
The Rams’ strength however, comes on stout defense, giving up just 56.8 points per game. They force opponents to shoot 33.7 percent from the field which is 10th best in the country and 25 percent from the 3-point line (tied for 9th).
Smart shot selections and creating easy scoring opportunities will help SJSU’s chances.
Tip off is at 1 p.m.